The list for Ugandan professionals battling to crown the prestigious 256 Footballer of The Year Award (FOTYA) has been trimmed from the initial sixteen shortlisted earlier this month to ten.
The accolade, which is in its third edition since inception in 2019, aims at recognizing the country’s most successful football talents within the country and the diaspora in the previous twelve months of competition.
The reigning Uganda Premier League Champions Express FC hold the lion share of representation on this elastic list with talisman Eric Kambale heading the way.
He scored fifteen goals in the recently concluded 2020/21 topflight season to help the Red Eagles clinch the title but has also been instrumental in their short-lived quest for continental glory.
Teammates Murushid Juuko and captain Enock Walusimbi join the Congolese on the list. Together, they won the league, the CECAFA Kagame Cup and are favourites to win the Uganda Cup.
URA FC have two candidates on the list including skipper Shafik Kagimu and prolific forward Steven Desse Mukwala. Kagimu was part and parcel of every offensive thing that his side did and registered double figures last season.
Mukwala on the other hand netted a staggering fourteen goals the previous season to help the Tax Collectors finish second but his work in the CAF Confederation Cup 5-2 aggregate victory over Ethiopian Coffee can’t be missed. He scored twice in the home game.
Mamelodi Sundowns custodian and former Uganda Cranes captain Dennis Masinde Onyango is also on the list but Chippa United goalkeeper Ismail Watenga misses out.
Others names making the list include; Simba SC midfield general Taddeo Lwanga, FC Ashdod striker Fahad Bayo and 2021 U-20 AFCON sensation Derrick Kakooza-formerly with Police FC.
Commiserations for Bobosi Byaruhanga who is one of the notable names to miss out on the list despite the fact that his Vipers SC teammate, Yunus Sentamu makes the cut.
The selected thirty journalists that were tasked with the nomination did not deem him fit enough.
A final three-man shortlist will be released at the end of September and voting by the fans will commence on October 1, 2021. The ultimate winner will be announced on November 18.
The 256 FOTY Nominees List: Denis Onyango, Yunus Sentamu, Enock Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko and Eric Kambale, Fahad Bayo, Taddeo Lwanga, Shafik Kagimu, Steven Mukwala, Derrick Kakooza